Using the Library: A Guide for Teachers
Planning a Visit to the Library
The Enoch Pratt Free Library /State Library Resource Center hosts class visits throughout the year. Students can learn how to use the library's catalog and databases, as well as experience its beautiful architecture. The librarians are happy to work with you to help your students learn more about the Library and its services. While at the Library, students can benefit from a variety of activities.
- Tours (allow at least an hour)
- Catalog instruction and Database instruction (Computer lab)
- Research in specific subject departments
- Scavenger hunts
- Instruction on how to search the Internet **
- Storytelling and read-alouds **
- Activities such as music, art, flannel board presentations, and puppet shows **
- Book talks tailored to the students' curricular needs **
- Other activities, as requested
** These activities are for younger students, Pre-K through elementary school levels.
We recommend that you bring no more than 40 students at one time, and the more adults you can bring to supervise your group, the better. We suggest that you have one adult per ten students, and we require at least two adults for groups of 30 or more.
Please try to schedule your visit at least three weeks in advance. Class visits may be scheduled during the following hours:
- 10:00 am - 7:00 pm Monday through Wednesday
- 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Thursday
Students can obtain library cards and check out books while on a class visit to the Library. If your students will need to sign up for library cards, you must contact the Central Circulation Department at (410) 396-5325.
If you would like to bring your students to one of the neighborhood branch libraries, please contact the specific branch to coordinate the details of your visit.
Middle and High School Teachers
Please fill out the following forms and email or fax them to the appropriate department. You can also drop the forms off at the Central Library.
For middle school student visits, contact the Student Express Department 410-396-5484 (phone)
For high school student visits, contact the Social Science and History Department 410-396-5321 (phone)
Pre-K through Elementary Teachers
Contact the Children's Department at 410-396-5402 at least three weeks in advance, and a librarian will assist you in arranging your visit.
Throughout the year, the Library offers programs and exhibits. The Library also has a summer reading program. During the summer stop by any branch of the Library to sign up. The Library also has a program, Community Youth Corps to help students earn service learning hours.
Resources for Teachers
Baltimore City teachers (including home schoolers) can get a teacher library card. The teacher library card application must be returned to the Circulation Department.
Curriculum Resource Center database contains lesson plans, maps, charts, diagrams and timelines for classroom use.
National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education.
Digest of Education Statistics provides statistical information covering American education from prekindergarten through graduate school.
Educational Resource Information Center (ERIC) database contains more than 2,200 digests along with references for additional information and citations and abstracts from over 1,000 educational and education-related journals.
Resources to use with Students
Databases The Library subscribes to a large number of databases, some which you can access online from home with your library card. You can also access the databases through the Sailor Web page.
Audio-Visual Materials/Media The Enoch Pratt Free Library's Sights and Sounds Department has videos on subjects like math, art, science, history, music, and government. Use the How to Find Audio-Visual Materials guide for assistance in locating items.
Primary Sources A primary source is a first-hand account of an event, a newspaper article or story by a witness to the event. Read our guide to Primary Sources at the State Library Resource Center and How Did They Live : Exploring Daily Life throughout History for more information
Subject Guides are lists of web links, as well as reference books and electronic databases, covering hundreds of different topics.
How-to Guides are informational guides for researching specific questions, for example How to get a GED in Maryland.
E-Books and Audio books Use the Maryland's Digital eLibrary Consortium to search or browse for free e-books and free audiobooks.
Assignment Alerts allow you to let the Library know when your students will need library materials for a class assignment.
If You Need More Help
Contact us through our Ask A Librarian Service, call (410) 396-5430, or write:
Enoch Pratt Free Library
State Library Resource Center
400 Cathedral Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Or, if you are outside of Maryland, contact your local library.